Jan 22, 2014 10:10 AM by Jordan Mason
Air Force (14-6-4, 9-3-3 AHA) travels to Pittsburgh, Pa., for a two-game Atlantic Hockey series with Robert Morris (6-13,3, 6-6-3 AHA), Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25, at 7:05 p.m. ET at the 84 Lumber Arena. Air Force is in third place with 21 points while Robert Morris is tied for sixth with 15.
All games will be broadcast in Colorado Springs on The Animal AM 1300 and on the internet at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com. Jay Ritchie will call the play-by-play. Dave Toller will be the color analyst. Pregame show begins 30 minutes before faceoff each day. All games will be video streamed live on AmericaOne.com.
Head coach Frank Serratore is in his 17th season at Air Force with a record of 286-269-62 record (617 games). He is the winningest coach in the history of Air Force hockey, having led Air Force to five AHA championships and five NCAA Tournaments in the last seven years. In 21 seasons as a collegiate head coach, he has an overall record of 335-361-71 (767 games).
Chad Demers leads the team with 29 points and is second on the team with 10 goals. Demers has scored a point in four straight (1-5-7) and in 18 of the last 23 games. He had four points (0-4-4) in the Sacred Heart series. In AHA games only, Demers is fifth in the league in points (20) and 11th in goals (7).
Cole Gunner leads the team with 11 goals and is second on the team with 28 points (11-17-28) . Gunner has scored at least one point in 10 straight games and in 18 of the last 21. His streak is the longest by a Falcon since Josh Frider had a 13-game point streak in 2008-09. In AHA games only, Gunner is ninth in the league in points and 11th in goals.
Alex Halloran is tied for sixth in the AHA in points by a defenseman (3-11-14) in all games while Dan Weissenhofer is 10th (2-9-11).
Freshman A.J. Reid had five points (2-5-7) in his last nine games.
Senior Tony Thomas has scored a point in four of the last five, and six of the last eight, games. His four game-winners this season are tied for third in the nation.
Sophomore Max Hartner has played in 16 games this season, the first eight at left wing, the next six on defense and the last two at left wing. He has scored four points (2-2-4) points at forward and one goal while playing defense. He had a goal last Friday vs. Sacred Heart while playing wing.
Freshman goalie Chris Truehl has started the last five games and is a perfect 5-0-0 with a 1.45 GAA and a .928 saves percentage. He stopped 41 of 45 shots in the SHU series, including a career high 23 saves on Friday and his second career shutout on Saturday. In AHA games only, Truehl is tops in the AHA with a 1.52 GAA and is fourth with a .926 saves percentage.
Jason Torf is out until at least early February with a groin strain suffered in the third period of AFA's 3-2 win over No. 4 Providence, Dec. 30, and has missed the last four games.
On the Road Again
After a home sweep over Sacred Heart last week, Air Force is back on the road. Including this weekend's Robert Morris series, AFA will play 10 of the last 12 on the road.
During Air Force's six-game road swing in late December-early January, the Falcons played six road games in 14 days and the Falcons went 5-1.
In the six games, Air Force trailed for just 16 minutes and 26 seconds (all came against Army in the second game). The only loss was at AIC when the Yellow Jackets' only lead came on the game-winner in overtime.
Those five wins included two wins over ranked team and three conference victories.
Air Force has won five straight games, which ties as the longest in the nation (Minnesota). The streak is the longest since the Falcons won seven straight at the end of the 2010-11 season. The school record streak of 13 straight wins came at the beginning of the 2008-09 season. The Falcons have lost just once in the last 11 games (7-1-3).
Defending the Home Ice
Air Force is 7-1-2 at home this season with six regular-season home games remaining.
Earlier in the season, Air Force had a six-game home unbeaten streak (5-0-1), the longest since the Falcons had a seven-game home winning streak in the record-setting 2008-09 season. Prior to going just 9-6-2 at home last season, AFA won 11 home games in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Series vs. Robert Morris
Air Force and Robert Morris have met 20 times and AFA holds a 12-8 lead in the series that began in 2004.
Air Force has won five straight in the series and eight of the last nine, including a 4-3 win earlier this season at the Academy.
The teams played nine times as members of the College Hockey America conference and the Colonials had a 6-3 lead in the series.
The teams met once as non-conference opponents in 2006, and the Falcons won, 4-3, at the Academy.
The teams renewed the rivalry as Atlantic Hockey opponents for the 2010-11 season.
As AHA opponents, AFA has an 8-2 lead in the series.
In games played in Pittsburgh, the teams have played eight times and each has won four.
Scouting the Colonials
Robert Morris University (Pittsburgh, Pa.) got off to a rough start this season with just two wins in the first 16 games (2-12-2). However, in the last three weeks, the Colonials have turned it around. RMU is 4-1-1 in the last six games. RMU swept a road series from Sacred Heart, then split at UConn and took three points at home from AIC last weekend. The Colonials are 3-4-2 at home this season. Junior Cody Wydo leads the team with 15 goals and 23 points. Sophomore Zac Lynch has 10 goals and 22 points. Both Wydo and Lynch rank in the top 12 in the league in scoring in all games. No other Colonial has more than 14 points. Sophomore Terry Shafer has seen the most action between the pipes and has started the last nine games. He has a .910 saves percentage and a 3.15 GAA.